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Occum Pond

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Occom Pond is located near the Hanover Country Club’s golf course, on the northern edge of campus. The pond is named after Samson Occom, a Mohegan man from Connecticut. His father died when he was young, so his mother appealed to Eleazar Wheelock to help prepare him for college. In 1743, Occom became both Wheelock’s first Native American pupil, and one of his most outstanding. In 1765 Occom sailed to Britain to raise money to establish Dartmouth College. He was the first Indian minister to visit Britain and large congregations gathered to hear him preach. He was able to raise a total of 12,026 pounds sterling which ultimately funded the creation of the College. The pond itself was created through the efforts of Professor T.W.D. Worthen, a resident of Webster Avenue in the early nineteenth century. Occom Ridge, which is the high ground running north to south between the pond and the river, was originally a cow pasture. The pond was a marsh-like area and was viewed as a nuisance by some, especially Worthen. The Professor built a dam at the north end of the marsh, thus forming Occom Pond.

Today, the eastern side of the pond is rimmed by private homes. The northern end is the site of the DOC House, built in 1929. The southern shore extends into a grassy field and the western banks are shaded by tall pines.